More than 18,500 Rohingyas flee Myanmar in 5 days as unrest rages

Between 10,000 and 15,000 Rohingyas have arrived in Bangladesh over the last 48 hours, taking the total number of the Muslim minority to have fled Myanmar to 582,000, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Tuesday.

These refugees were waiting to be registered by the Bangladeshi authorities before being transferred to camps raised to house them, Efe news reported.

"UNHCR is advocating with the Bangladesh authorities to urgently admit these refugees fleeing violence and increasingly-difficult conditions back home. Every minute counts given the fragile condition they're arriving in," UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said in Geneva.

Many of the Rohingyas who arrived since Sunday told the UNHCR they were forced to leave when their villages were set on fire. Many of them walked for a week before they could cross over to Bangladesh.

Around 60 percent of the Rohingya refugees were children, according to data from Unicef, which warned that it will be forced to cut back the aid it provides them if it does not receive fresh contributions soon to respond to this emergency.

Unicef spokesperson Marixie Mercado said so far the organisation managed to raise only seven percent of the $76 million it sought to aid Rohingya refugee children in the next six months.

"The children have witnessed atrocities and are in imminent need of aid in the form of shelter, water, vaccination and protection," Mercado said.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization concluded the first phase of vaccination against cholera on 680,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar area.

The second phase will begin next week but will cover only 200,000 children between one and five years of age.